CONCORD, N.C. – The countdown to the 24 Hours of Le Mans intensifies this week for Hendrick Motorsports and its Garage 56 entry.
Scrutineering serves as the first big event for the 100th running of the legendary race. The Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will undergo mandatory administrative and technical checks before getting on track. The car is presented in the town center. This process is scheduled to kick off at 11:15 a.m. ET on Friday, June 2.
For all events, please note that France is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
There are two three-hour sessions for what is called a free practice day and test day around the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday, June 4. The first session will take place from 4-7 a.m. ET, followed by a second session from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. This is a great opportunity for drivers to familiarize themselves with the circuit.
RELATED: Garage 56 team reflects on road to France
On Tuesday, June 6, the Garage 56 pit crew will showcase their skills with a pit stop challenge starting at 9:15 a.m. ET. The NASCAR-style pit stop will be unique compared to that of the other teams at Le Mans.
There will be a practice session on Wednesday, June 7, from 8-11 a.m. ET. Qualifying for the endurance race will also take place on Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. ET. An additional Wednesday practice will come under the night sky in France from 4-6 p.m. ET. All of these events will be on MotorTrend+.
On Thursday, June 8, teams will go through their final practice sessions. The first takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET. The second session will take place at night from 4-5 p.m. ET. All of these events will be on MotorTrend+.
On Friday, June 9, the drivers will take part in a parade through the city center from 8-10:30 a.m. ET.
RELATED: Rick Hendrick says involvement in Garage 56 is 'special to me'
On Saturday, June 10, the day starts with a 15-minute warm-up session to carry out final preparations from 6-6:15 a.m. ET. Opening ceremonies take place at 9 a.m. ET with the 100th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans starting at 10 a.m. ET. The race will conclude at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 11.
Fans can watch the 100th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 10, on MotorTrend TV/MotorTrend+. Coverage of the warm-up sessions will begin at 5:45 a.m. ET and pre-race coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET, both on MotorTrend+.
"That’s my most exciting thing is to see the Hendrick Motorsports banner rolling around the racetrack," Chad Knaus, the vice president of competition who is overseeing this project, said. "As a track as difficult and challenging as that is for eight-and-a-quarter miles, to run that for 24 hours and see Hendrick Motorsports all over that race car and our Hendrick Motorsports teammates over there representing NASCAR that means the world to me."
RELATED: Garage 56 lineup details what success looks like in France
In March 2022 at Sebring International Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports, in collaboration with NASCAR, Chevrolet, IMSA and Goodyear, announced their intention to compete in the 2023 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the Garage 56 entry. The team received its official invite for the event in February and will sport the No. 24 – a nod to a storied car number in the history of both Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR. Garage 56 was introduced in 2012 as a special single-entry class for innovative cars. It allows for creativity without taking away a spot in the traditional starting grid.
The car, a modified version of the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 race car, was formally unveiled at Daytona International Speedway in February. The systems and components of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 are mostly unchanged from the car that runs in the NASCAR Cup Series. However, this car will have headlights and taillights for nighttime racing, a larger fuel cell, carbon brake discs and Goodyear Eagle race tires that have been specially designed.
The driver lineup of Formula One champion Jenson Button, seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and two-time Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller as well as backup driver/coach Jordan Taylor (a four-time IMSA champion) was announced in January. The program’s cars have logged 6,834 miles in preparation for Le Mans.